The International Olympic Committee has deprived the International Boxing Association of its status.
The International Olympic Committee voted to decertify the International Boxing Association as the sport’s global governing organization.
After the IBA failed to meet defined changes following its 2019 suspension due to governance difficulties and alleged corruption, the IOC’s executive board recommended the decision earlier in June.
On Thursday, 69 of the 70 valid votes cast were in favor of the recommendation.
World Boxing, a breakaway international federation, was created in April.
The IOC organized boxing in Tokyo 2020 due to worries about the IBA’s finances, governance, ethics, officiating, and judging, and the Olympic organization will be in control again in Paris 2024.
The sport was left off the initial Los Angeles 2028 schedule, but IOC director general Christophe de Kepper declared during the IOC’s 140th session, where the voting was held, that he “guarantees” boxing will be on the program in five years.
The IOC will finalize the program for those Games in October.
Prior to the vote, IOC President Thomas Bach stated, “We have no problem with boxing.” We have no objections to boxers.
“The boxers fully deserve to be governed by an international federation that operates with integrity and transparency.”
On Tuesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected the IBA’s appeal against the suggestion.
The IBA called the executive board’s recommendation “truly abhorrent and purely political” at the time.
What is the context?
An independent review concluded in 2022 that boxing needed to address ethical issues in order to preserve its Olympic future, citing a “historical culture of bout manipulation” – including at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Professor Richard McLaren uncovered decades of financial mismanagement and fraud, rule violation in the ring, and poor training and education programs for referees, judges, and officials in his final report.
The IBA, whose main supporters include Russian state-backed energy company Gazprom, removed its ban on Russian and Belarusian boxers in October.
Multiple countries, including the United Kingdom, boycotted the men’s and women’s World Championships earlier this year because the IBA allowed Russian and Belarussian boxers to compete under their national flags, in violation of IOC guidelines.
The IBA’s president, Russian Umar Kremlev, said people skipping the championships were “worse than hyenas and jackals” for violating the “integrity of sport and culture.”
Kremlev has been president of the IBA since 2020, and he was re-elected unopposed in May 2022 after Dutch boxing federation president Boris van der Vorst was found ineligible.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport concluded in June that Van der Vorst was wrongfully barred from standing, but an IBA proposal to hold a new election was rejected.
The IOC stated that it was “extremely concerned” by the outcome, while Van der Vorst told BBC Sport that he was concerned for the sport’s Olympic future.
World Boxing will seek IOC registration, which might take up to two years for a body that was only formed three months ago.
Among its five vows, the new organization stated that it will “keep boxing at the heart of the Olympic movement” and “ensure boxers’ interests are put first.”
The interim board is led by delegates from the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Sweden, and the United States.